They say travel is more about the journey than the destination. Those who say that obviously haven’t gone to third base with a TSA agent while their plane is delayed. Fortunately, smart airport services using IoT tend to mitigate most of the problems we have when flying in economy. But this convenience comes at a price: your data will be on display for everyone.
Cybersecurity experts always emphasize that you should never share your private data with companies. But, in the case of an airport, this is a necessity. You need to have your documents and be able to prove that you are the person you say you are. In addition, you must be authorized to land.
There is an interesting balance for airports using the Internet of Things (IoT) between faster access to your plane and providing more data than necessary. You can solve this problem by separating your real person from your digital person when you are at the airport.
By using https://ip-locations.org/ you can keep your mobile VPN application up and running while you’re at the airport. This way, you get all the benefits of smart airports without spreading your private data to shady marketing companies. Your VPN will protect you from airport service providers who take advantage of personal information required by the TSA or other airport security services.
IoT-enhanced airports seem like a marvel of technology. The fact that everything can be checked in advance, booked in advance and paid for quickly from your phone is fantastic, as it allows you time to read a book during your flight.
Or it would be great if it wasn’t possible to read and write this article on a refrigerator.
All the technology we see is the same IoT that has been available in our homes for years. Also, there are the same risks of IoT in these devices as in others. This problem means that we must be extremely aware of the data we provide and the personal information stored on our portable devices.
Every traveler, whether traveling for business or pleasure, should take advantage of this October to learn more about how to protect themselves. October has been designated as cyber security month. It has been celebrated since 2003 in the US and is now also the official cyber security month in the EU.
Why are Smart Airports Better?
It is difficult to argue whether service at an airport using IoT is objectively better. The waiting time is shorter, with fewer checks, and you don’t need to carry all kinds of tickets and boarding passes with you when you travel.
If we can mitigate the risks of IoT, having your airport use these techniques will save you a lot of time and even nerves. In addition, these checks and services significantly improve airport security.
TSA agents often work on a hunch or with limited protocol. But, the AI used for the airport’s IoT systems never sleeps, never blinks and never forgets. Plus, being scanned by the camera isn’t invasive or harmful to your trip.
IoT Security Services
Depending on the amount of IoT services included in the airport or the security systems installed, your experience may vary. From focused services that don’t intrude more on your privacy than the normal internet, to some that are very reminiscent of 1984.
Slightly counterintuitive, airport cameras and CCTV are the least of your privacy concerns. Even with advanced facial recognition software (FRS) included, it is still unbearably difficult to steal one’s information or private data simply by using one’s face.
In addition, FRS cannot be used by third parties and eliminates the need for so many individual checks by police or TSA agents.
Finally, if there is a case of someone dangerous trying to board or someone who does not have the proper documents, these people can be removed from the premises without alarming other passengers.
All of this could awaken the mind of a paranoid person, as it should, but it has not yet been used for any malicious reason.
Fingerprint vs. Data Footprint
No doubt, your fingerprint at smart airports will be somewhat larger. With all your data entered in advance and devices accessed on the spot, every step you take to take your flight will be permanently monitored.
But, a larger fingerprint shouldn’t mean that more data is distributed.
In a traditional airport you were leaving a huge trail, between tickets, passport scans and even coffee bills paid with your credit card. All these trails are a treasure trove for divers who collect all kinds of data using processed tickets and payment options.
With intelligent IoT airports, all this data will go directly to a secure server and won’t let anything be stolen or sold silently. With premium providers you will also have a VPN app for your iOS or Android devices. With this VPN, you can also protect and encrypt any information you use for other services.
QR and RFID
While both technologies have existed for decades, only with IoT have we seen the full potential of QR codes and RFID chips. These small tools can make all objects “communicate” with the system and be included in airport service.
The best known example of these technologies being used in an airport is baggage screening. Because the machines now process your luggage, there is little or no chance that your bags will be lost or misplaced.
You should use both software and surveillance to protect yourself from things like digital pickpockets. In general, you should use them in your daily life. But, with this threat mitigated, you can be sure that you won’t spend the first few days of your vacation in jeans.
Eyes in the Sky
With the introduction of the “social credit” system in China, everyone became a little suspicious when it comes to CCTV cameras, facial recognition and crowd tracking. But, to be honest, the airport is the only place you really want all these things.
Airport security, as well as the customer experience, has been greatly enhanced by this technology. The system will quickly and safely know if there are any suspicious people or objects anywhere in the airport. Plus, you won’t have to harass or profile other passengers who are simply there to catch your plane.
Security could be the first issue on everyone’s mind when it comes to airports and planes, especially those in the US. But reducing the time needed for passengers to get through the airport to their plane seat is possibly more important.
With a traditional airport you may need hours to get through the terminal with delays everywhere. With airports using IoT, this time can be cut in half and you can be entertained on the way.
There is a privacy issue when it comes to IoT, especially when it comes to external internet access or service providers. But, with a strong IoT VPN, these concerns can easily be mitigated. You will use specialized airline or airport applications to give your personal data to officials, but you will still protect that data from companies and data collectors.
If your airport or even your airline is using IoT systems to verify and confirm your ticket, you will not need to fill out forms. You can book your ticket as simply as if you were buying anything online.
The simple fact that the name on your ticket, credit card and biometric passport match is enough to prove your identity.
Since it is known that there will be a camera to confirm that you are carrying your documents when you board, you do not need to send any more information to the airline or carry a lot of documentation with you.
Last but not least, you will not need to print out your ticket and boarding pass. All this information will be stored on your device. Plus, if you have a good VPN for travel, you can protect your identity from others at all times.
Check-in via Smartphone
There are not many things that can cheer up introverts and entrepreneurs at the same time. The online ckeck-in is one of them. It saves time, money and unnecessary discussions with an employee who needs names like “Jon Smith” to be spelled.
For those who travel light or use low-cost companies, this type of check-in is a lifesaver. You do not need to arrive at the airport four hours in advance in case there is a problem at the terminal.
By using your smart phone to confirm that you have arrived at the airport, you can simply walk directly to passport control or directly to boarding. And the automated terminal will scan your phone and open it for those with tickets booked.
Automatic Baggage Check
An incredible innovation when it comes to quick check-in is the ability to leave your luggage without talking to another human being. And this is not just millennial dehumanization. It’s good business. Automatic baggage check-in halves the time of this activity.
Once you arrive at the terminal, you’ll scan your passport or biometric ticket, weigh your bags and scan a QR code so that it can be tracked. You can then proceed to board without fear of someone losing or forgetting your precious possession.
This also makes the process safer, as the suitcase can be scanned and tested for hazardous materials on its way. If someone tries to break into your bags, they will be found and taken away long before they reach another terminal.
The Convenience of IoT at Smart Airports
Few airports are currently using the full potential of IoT, but some are on the way.
The slow adoption process has the added benefit that only a few of the services presented have any kind of cybersecurity risk. The usual measures, such as having an up-to-date operating system and a good VPN will protect you in this case too.
However, having your airport connected to the Internet in this way can offer multiple benefits. Some of the benefits will be economical and practical, while others will have more to do with entertainment.
Now, with 5G connections it is possible to introduce technologies such as augmented reality. There is also the possibility of seamlessly streaming content as you board your flight and wait for it to take off.
Having a fast and reliable internet has many benefits. While it won’t be necessary for registration and ticketing, it will be useful if you want to watch a movie or listen to Spotify while you wait.
One of the best features of smart airports is the use of inland navigation. This will show you the way to your specific door and the time you have to get there. It can also notify you when boarding is open so you can quickly grab your drink and be on your way.
Although currently used primarily to catch Pokémon, the potential for augmented reality at IoT airports is immense. By using visual cues through the camera, you can see everything you want to know without having to type directly into the browser. With augmented reality, passengers will be able to find what they want simply by sliding the camera on their smartphone.
While this will be advertised in most applications, there are still many practical uses for which a smart airport will be able to use AR.
Public IoT risks
Unlike personal IoT risks, where you can be hacked by leaving your printer unlocked, public IoT risks are much more serious. The simple fact that you are always linking your person and devices to a location can put you at risk of data theft.
Also, you have no control over the security implemented in those public places. If some terminals, WiFi connections or even entire systems are compromised, you have no way of knowing.
Finally, some governments have different views on privacy from what is common in the West. That’s why those who travel and live abroad need a good expatriate VPN to protect them from any unwanted consequences.
Citizens of the World
While our home planet remains the same, only a little warmer, our world gets smaller every year. We get closer to each other, either by faster travel or digitally.
But in this “October of Cybersecurity” we must recognize the risks this contraction poses to our lives and our freedoms. Even with beneficial and practical technologies, like smart airports, we need to know how to protect ourselves.
Even those who are sedentary and do not need to travel outside of their vacation periods must begin to take a holistic view of their security. Unlike in the past, your possessions, your livelihood and even your own life (well, identity) can be taken over by someone on the other side of the world.
US and EU citizens should observe this month of cybersecurity almost religiously. These are the countries where such technologies will be the first to arrive and will be the most affected.
Always Use a VPN When Traveling
Using a VPN, as well as anti-malware software, is a good idea even if you don’t plan to leave your home. But it’s a must if you plan to travel to other countries.
Depending on your destination, some places may have banned content. Other countries may have a policy on using your browsing data and personal information for political purposes. No matter the country, your trust will be misplaced.
All future airports will be operated by IoT. And, unlike many technological advances that can be risky or downright frightening, this is what we really want. An airport with IoT offers faster, more reliable service and greater security.
Only once you’re safe can you enjoy both your destination and your journey fully.